Sunday, February 28, 2016

Dead Men Walking

Remember back a few months ago when I kept referring to the crowded field of candidates on the Republican side of the presidential race as "a clown car?" Well all of a sudden, that metaphor doesn't seem quite as appropriate. It could be the lack of floppy shoes and red noses, but the attrition rate over the past few weeks has made me think less of that cramped carrier of colorfully costumed carnival comedians and more of an episode of The Walking Dead.
I make no real bones (pun emphatically intended) about my fascination with AMC's series about the zombie apocalypse. My wife and I consider it to be one of "our shows." It is appointment television. The same cannot be said of the Republican debates which we have avoided like the zombie-inducing plague. But I can't help thinking that it would be easy enough to simply throw a little grime and a little extra gore (lower case) on the group of survivors to add to the effect.
Way back when the TV series started, there were a dozen or so main characters who were making good their escape from the advancing horde of teeth-gnashing-brain-gobblers. Now, most of them have fallen away, leaving a very few of the original members of the cast to struggle through and find their way in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Heroes and villains have been left behind or eaten with callous disregard. Being a good guy doesn't mean that you get to live. More often than not, it is those selfless acts that cause that selfless one to become zombie chow.
This could explain why the remaining Republican candidates lean more to the "anti-hero" type. Most of them would look comfortable wielding a crossbow, or wearing an eyepatch, both of which are protected by our Second Amendment. What part of the hungry cadaver universe would these guys make up? The Governor is out, but it could be that he was never fully alive to begin with. The number of forgotten victims now completely overwhelm that of the ones left standing behind the podiums. In the coming weeks, who will survive and what will be left of them?
When the sheriff on TV encounters another survivor, he asks three questions: "How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?" I'm thinking the next GOP debate should have a much simpler format next time.

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